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Ballyshannon impress in derby win

Senior Football Division 3
24 May 2014
Naomh Bríd 1-6
Aodh Ruadh 4-14
John Hughes reports from Páirc Naomh Bríd

While Aodh Ruadh and Naomh Bríd have met regularly in recent years, these encounters have defied any easy pattern of predictability. Both sides came into this tie with wins behind them. Naomh Bríd's was probably the more note-worthy, coming as it did away from home against early division three pace-setters Naomh Colmcille. Aodh Ruadh's away victory over Buncrana stemmed a two game losing run. Both sides were short players on county duty, the homesters missing All-Ireland winner David Walsh, while the visitors were shorn of county minors Niall Harley and Colm Kelly. The form lines indicated a tough fought encounter.

It was a great day for it in Páirc Naomh Bríd. Peter Boyle was the first to draw an end to the shadow-boxing, leathering over a cracking effort from 48 metres. There was a blow for Aodh Ruadh shortly after when Johnny Gallagher had to leave early with a face injury. James O'Donnell, himself a pre-match injury doubt came in for Gallagher.

A David McGurrin point doubled the visitor's lead before Sean Gormley opened Naomh Bríd's account in the seventh minute before Darragh Brogan levelled matters a minute later from close range.

This was a game with plenty of goal chances. Jamie McDonald was the end of the first in the ninth minute, but he opted to go safety first and fisted over. David McGurrin possibly had a sniff of goal two minutes later, but again his shot went over rather than under.

The goal finally arrived with the next kick out. Anthony Boyle showed enormous courage to win the kick before delivering over the top to the in-rushing David Dolan who volleyed past Stephen Doherty to make it 0-2 to 1-4 with 12 minutes gone. The Ballintra / Laghey outfit got an instant response when Shane Walsh fired over a quality score, but the scores were coming easier for Aodh Ruadh and they soon pushed the gap out to five points again with David Dolan slipping over from close range.

A minute later and Shane Walsh added his second of the game, but, as the game moved into the second quarter, that was to prove the last scoring contribution of the half from the homesters.

Thereafter, starting with a fine point engineered and executed by Kerry Ryan, it was to be one way traffic on the score board. In particular the damage was done in a four minute scoring spell from the 20th to the 24th minute when the Ernesiders ran up 2-2. First David McGurrin, lying deep in this game, won a ball and fed Ronan Drummond who carried well before laying off to Ronan McGurrin to finish. Ronan Drummond was again provider as Pauric Patton, making his debut in senior football, ventured up from half back to slot over. Three minutes later and Kerry Ryan was again allowed to travel into the heart of the Ballintra defence before unleashing a shot cum cross. David Dolan was in the area making a nuisance of himself and managed to get the ball into the net off what looked like his chest. The next goal a minute later was a more handsome effort. David McGurrin the provider this tmime and Diarmaid McInerney finished with style to take the scores to 0-4 to 3-8 by half time. There was time for more drama before the break though, Naomh Bríd losing two players to black cards, Thomas Gallagher and Pauric McDaid both having to leave the fray on fairly uncomplicated calls. Gallagher's loss was a significant blow to Ballintra as he had been posing problems for the Ballyshannon in the middle of the field. The application of the black card at club level has raised concerns, but Mulhern handled these calls, and the game in general with cool deliberation.

The second half belonged to the Ernesiders as the air gradually went out of the Naomh Bríd challenge. It was five minutes into the half before the first score arrived. Strong running from Ciron Whoriskey set up Diarmaid McInerney to drill over from out on the right. Aodh Ruadh's hunger was indicated three minutes later when David Dolan fought like a lion to keep the ball alive before feeding it out to McInerney to take his tally for the game to 1-2 and put three goals between the sides.

Peter Boyle had an exceptional second half and the first of a series of remarkable saves came in the 39th minute when he got down to stap a Darragh Brogan effort. The ball was recycled out to sub Pauric Brennan who finished well. Sean Gormley got Ballintra's second decent goal chance of the half, but the radar was off and his shot slipped wide of the post.

Anthony Boyle was another man in white and green who had a excellent game and his last contribution was a sumptuous pass into Jamie McDonald who made no mistake with his shot to make the scoreline 0-5 to 4-10 as the game moved into the final quarter. As an indication of the strength in depth Aodh Ruadh are now acquiring Boyle's replacement was Eddie Lynch, and his introduction by no means diminished the Ballyshannon threat.

The fourth goal took the urgency from the game and Ronan McGurrin was given plenty of time to take his second point of the game. Brother David added only his third score of the match three minutes later, albeit from a lovely placed ball shot.

There was some light for Naomh Bríd when they won a penalty with ten minutes left in the game. Shane Walsh hit a real rasper of a shot, but Peter Boyle got down to his left to pull off an improbable save and beat the ball out for a 45. A minute later though the home side finally raised a green flag, Clint Walsh was given time to get his shot away from the edge of the area and he was able to lash his shot home through a tangle of legs.

Niall Thomas came on in the 51nd minute and fisted over with his first touch of the game. There was time for two more scores as the game moved into added time. First Damien Cleary started a move which was converted by David Dolan to finish out the Aodh Ruadh scoring. Then Calum Gallagher swung over a nice effort to conclude what was an eminently forgettable outing for the Ballintra Laghey men.

The result sees Aodh Ruadh go clear at the top of the division three table, although the main promotion contenders all have games in hand.

Ballyshannon were dominant right across the pitch, and there was the feel of a team starting to find their sense of purpose and unity. Despite being down Conor Patton, Eamon McGrath, Niall Harley and Colm Kelly, all of whom started against Naomh Colmcille, Aodh Ruadh were still able to put out a team which could play coherently and with authority.

Peter Boyle's shot stopping was fully tested and not found wanting, while Damien Cleary and Ciron Whoriskey defended with verve. Pauric Patton didn't look out of place in his first outing in a senior jersey and in the middle of the pitch Ronan McGurrin and Kerry Ryan both gave combative displays. The half forward line was the engine room of this win, with the creativity of Anthony Boyle, David McGurrin and Ronan Drummond just too much for Naomh Bríd to deal with. Up front David Dolan was a terror with Jamie McDonald and Diarmaid McInerney exploiting opportunities ruthlessly.

Vital Statistics
Naomh Bríd
Stephen Doherty; Gary McCafferty, Ross Gallagher, Liam Duffy; Cian Gallagher, Clint Walsh (1-0), Jamie Timoney; Thomas Gallagher, Dermot Langan; Shane Walsh (0-2), Sean Gormley (0-1), Calum Gallagher (0-1); Pauric McDaid, Darragh Brogan (0-1), Eoin Haran.
Substitutes: Stephen Walls for Thomas Gallagher: 25 minutes; Pauric Brennan for Pauric McDaid: 31 minutes.
Black card: Thomas Gallagher: 25 minutes; Pauric McDaid: 31 minutes.
Wides: First half: 4; Second half: 5; Total: 9.
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle (0-1f); Michael Ward, Damien Cleary, Ciron Whoriskey; Pauric Patton (0-1), Johnny Gallagher, Micky Dolan; Kerry Ryan (0-1), Ronan McGurrin (0-2); Anthony Boyle, David McGurrin (0-3, 1f), Ronan Drummond; Jamie McDonald (1-1), David Dolan (2-2), Diarmaid McInerney (1-2).
Substitutes: James O'Donnell for Johnny Gallagher: 3 minutes; Eddie Lynch for Anthony Boyle: 44 minutes; Kieran Keown for David McGurrin: 48 minutes; Niall Thomas (0-1) for Jamie McDonald: 52 minutes; David rin for Ronan McGurrin: 56 minutes.
Yellow card: Damien Cleary : 50 minutes.
Wides: First half: 6; Second half: 3; Total: 9.
Referee: Michael Mulhern (Saint Eunan's)

Last modified: Monday, 1 June 2020 at 1:11pm